Germany to field strongest team against Gibraltar

Germany have been nursing a World Cup hangover since their triumph in Brazil in July and are third in Group D with four points from three games after a less than stellar start.


They eked out a narrow 2-1 win at home to Scotland before slumping to their first ever defeat by neighbours Poland and conceded a last-gasp equaliser to Ireland in a 1-1 draw.

“Absolutely, I expect that we will play with our strongest team,” Germany assistant coach Thomas Schneider told reporters on Wednesday.

“We take our opponents very seriously even if their last games have not bee so successful. What is important is to have a good game and if we win 5-0 or 6-0 and the lads play well then that is also OK for us.”

The Germans are missing a string of key players, including captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, winger Marco Reus and attacking midfielder Julian Draxler.

But even without them the four-time World Cup winners should have no problems against Gibraltar, who are competing in their maiden qualifying tournament.


“We noticed it yesterday already that the players’ concentration is now focused solely on the Gibraltar game,” Schneider said. “What will be decisive is with what kind of attitude we will go into this game.”

“There is no reason for us to be careless. We want to get the three points to put our qualification back on track,” said Schneider, who took over from Hansi Flick after the World Cup.

Germany also face European champions Spain in a friendly on Nov. 18 in Vigo.

Gibraltar, a British overseas territory which borders the southern tip of Spain, was accepted as a UEFA member after a 14-year battle during which it faced fierce opposition from Spain. The team played their first international in September.

With a tiny pool of amateur players to choose from, Gibraltar would be happy with a low-scoring defeat.

Allen Bula’s players have had a harsh introduction to the qualifiers having conceded 17 goals in three games and scored none.

(Editing by Julien Pretot)